I met a lady today who should be duplicated over… and over… and over again! Her name is CHARMAINE ABRAHAMS and she runs the Hambanathi Pre-School in Railton. She has only been open for 2 months. Her school is on Methodist Church grounds. (Church will apparently still be built on the property too).
Charmaine, at the moment, has 13 children in her care ranging from toddler to almost teen. She has a vision for the children that is to be highly commended. She sees her role as something much more than just someone looking after the children whilst their parents are at work.
Her vision is to expose the children to the good in life as well as taking them on visits to people and places outside of Swellendam so as to enrich their lives. Places the children have not been to before. She is thinking here of the Donkey Sanctuary in McGregor, as an example, or the Bird Park in Robertson.
I asked Charmaine what she might need to get ahead in her venture. This is what she has given me. She asked me to add that she would welcome donations but does not expect everything for free. So if you can assist with anything on the list and you would like to charge a fee, please feel free to do so. Does not have to be new.
1. Signage outside the school. Something more sturdy. She has a laminated piece of paper at the moment.
2. Trees (about 3)
3. Flowers to beautify the outside
4. Play apparatus for the children. (Swing/slide/jungle gym/trampoline)
5. Educational Toys
9. Kiddies Tables and Chairs
10. Plastic plates and bowls
11. Stainless steel spoons (plastic could break and hurt the children)
12. Mattresses / Sheets / Blankets
13. Microwave / Stove (willing to pay)
16. Pots to cook in. (A neighbour is currently cooking food for her to feed the children)
17. Heater for winter (something safe) The school is a corrugated structure and not well insulated. It’s going to be freezing in winter!!
1. SPCA to give a talk to the children about taking care of their pets
2. Someone to come and read to the children.
Children’s Clothing and food:
Charmaine feels there is a dire need for a presence in the squatter camp where there are children who don’t go to school due to lack of funds.
She would like to set up a “table” there from time to time to hand out clothes and food for these children. If you have any second-hand clothing to donate these would be most welcome.
If you would like to donate or get involved please contact Charmaine directly:
Hambanathi Pre School, 5 Sonneblom Street, Railton.
Rita Van Vollenstee